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Local theater company brings classic children’s book to stage


By Sarah Boyum




Cast members donned long felt ears and colorful ensembles, each dressed as a different type of dog.

On Saturday afternoon at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center, families were invited to sing along as the cast danced and sang about dogs at work and  dogs at play.

The Cardinal Stage Company presented the play “GO, DOG. GO!” which was adapted from the 1961 classic by P.D. Eastman. The show was presented twice Saturday at the center and will run every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday through July 1.

The book, which was written using only 75 different words, illustrates the
interactions of a group of highly active dogs who drive cars in pursuit of work, play and a final dog party.

“GO, DOG. GO!” is the last play of the Cardinal for Kids series this year.

This is the program’s second year and is geared toward 3- to 8-year-olds.

Randy White, artistic director of Cardinal Stage Company, said he enjoys directing children’s shows.

White’s son Graeme enjoyed Saturday’s performance with him.

“I love doing kid shows,” Randy said. “There was such a demand.”

The Cardinal Stage Company previously presented “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” and “A Year with Frog and Toad” at the center.

“It was a good opportunity to encourage children to see theater, while at the same time bringing families into the Ivy Tech Waldron to see what we’ve done with the space and what we offer,” said Paul Daily, artistic director at the Waldron Arts Center.

The Cardinal Stage Company is based in Bloomington and was founded in 2006. Many cast members are from Bloomington, while others come from Indianapolis, Chicago and New York.

Since its inception, the company has aimed to “establish a professional, regional theater,” Randy said.

The Waldron Arts Center is one of the main venues where the company performs its productions.

Bloomington resident Ashlyn Nelson attended the play with her daughter, Saya Hauser. Nelson heard about the play through her daughter’s preschool.

Nelson and Hauser have attended other plays in the Cardinal Kids Series but said they particularly enjoyed this production.

“It was the most fun out of all of them,” Nelson said. “There was energy and fun the entire time.”

When Nelson asked her daughter which play she liked best, Hauser responded confidently with a huge smile: “‘GO, DOG. GO!’”

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